Former Moc Marchant earns Olympic qualifying standard in marathon
TORONTO, ONTARIO (gomocs.com) -- With one qualifying standard already in her back pocket, former Chattanooga distance runner, Lanni Marchant qualified for the Rio Olympics in the marathon for Canada at the ScotiaBank Toronto Waterfront Marathon.
Marchant, a 31-year-old London, Ontario native, was just shy of breaking her Canadian marathon record time, covering the 26.2 miles in two hours 28 minutes nine seconds missing out on a $30,000 bonus. She set the mark in the same race two years ago at 2:28.00.
Marchant was the top Canadian female across the line placing fifth overall. Ethiopia's 19-year-old Shure Demise was the women's champion. Teammate Eric Gillis of Antigonish, N.S., also qualified for the Canadian Olympic team finishing seventh with a time of 2:11.31, more than a minute under the qualifying mark.
Four years ago, Marchant and teammate Krista Duchene were denied a chance to run for Canada in London as both hit the Olympic qualifying standard, but not the more stringent Canada mark. Despite a legal fight, the two had to watch the festivities from the sidelines. Duchene qualified earlier this year for the Olympics making Marchant the second Canadian to qualify.
It wasn't make or break for Marchant who already qualified for a spot on the Canadian Olympic team in the 10,000 meter, but it was a goal she was striving for. She won the bronze medal in the 10K at the Toronto games and finished 18th at the World Track and Field Championships in Beijing in August.
Marchant has eight months to get ready for her double-dip as she plans to compete in both. The 10,000 meter race will be held on Day One in Rio while the marathon will run on the morning of Day Three.
She dropped to the shorter distance after a calf injury caused her to alter her training. In Sunday's race, running at record pace through most of the event, her calf cramped up with about 10K to go.
Marchant lives part time in Chattanooga where she is a criminal defense attorney. She was the 2006 UTC Scrappy Moore Award recipient and named the 2007 Southern Conference Female Athlete of the Year. She graduated with honors from UTC with an Economics degree and holds a dual law degree from the University of Ottawa and Michigan State. In 2015, she was elected to the UTC Athletics Hall of Fame.